The Colds of Winter

Well, despite all the elderberry-zinc lozenges and homemade chicken broth the Crankke Yankee (my husband) and I have downed this month, I’m afraid that the colds of winter are upon us. Although we are not bedridden or trudging around the house in robes and slippers, our pockets full of used tissues and ancient cough drops–I think the colds  are winning.

One of my favorite poets of all time is Ogden Nash, so this morning I’ll let him speak for us through his poem, “Winter Complaint.”

Enjoy!

Winter Complaint

“Now when I have a cold
I am careful with my cold,
I consult a physician
And I do as I am told.
I muffle up my torso
In woolly woolly garb,
And I quaff great flagons
Of sodium bicarb.
I munch on aspirin,
I lunch on water,
And I wouldn’t dream of osculating
Anybody’s daughter,
And to anybody’s son
I wouldn’t say howdy,
For I am a sufferer
Magna cum laude.
I don’t like germs,
But I’ll keep the germs I’ve got.
Will I take a chance of spreading them?
Definitely not.
I sneeze out the window
And I cough up the flue,
And I live like a hermit
Till the germs get through.
And because I’m considerate,
Because I’m wary,
I am treated by my friends
Like Typhoid Mary.

Now when you have a cold
You are careless with your cold,
You are cocky as a gangster
Who has just been paroled.
You ignore your physician,
You eat steaks and oxtails,
You stuff yourself with starches,
You drink lots of cocktails,
And you claim that gargling
Is a time of waste,
And you won’t take soda
For you don’t like the taste,
And you prowl around parties
Full of selfish bliss,
And greet your hostess
With a genial kiss.
You convert yourself
Into a deadly missile,
You exhale Hello’s
Like a steamboat whistle.
You sneeze in the subway
And you cough at dances,
And let everybody else
Take their own good chances.
You’re a bronchial boor,
A bacterial blighter,
And you get more invitations
Than a gossip writer.

Yes, your throat is froggy,
And your eyes are swimmy,
And your hand is clammy,
And your nose is brimmy,
But you woo my girls
And their hearts you jimmy
While I sit here
With the cold you gimme.”

Ogden Nash
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